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Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) exhibits neurotrophic properties on different types of neuron, including motor, sensory and parasympathetic neurons. We demonstrate that sciatic nerve ligation induces an increase of the HGF receptor, c-met, mRNA in the distal segment of the sciatic nerve to the ligation site and a delayed elevation in the proximal segment. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed co-localization of cMet and GFAP and indicates that Schwann cells express cMet in the sciatic nerve after injury. HGF mRNA was detected in the spinal cord and DRG, and nerve injury did not alter the expression. These data demonstrate that the expression of HGF and cMet in the peripheral nervous system shows the unique pattern of regulation following nerve injury.